CHÂTEAU PONTET CANET

2011 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac

Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
District Left Bank
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Pauillac
Classification 5ème Cru Classé
ABV 13%

Deep but not black colour, ruby red. Quite a blocky, broad rich Cabernet style. Ripe with slightly piquant tannins. It seems to lack a bit of real grip, density and drive. And juice too. There are some fruity tannins which will release more flavour, it is big and 'real', but it is also quite loose-textured, knitted with coarse wool rather than tightly woven with silk as in the previous three vintages. Rating: 92 L&S (Apr 2012)


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Tasted at the Pontet-Canet vertical in London, the 2011 Château Pontet Canet must constitute one of the best wines on the Left Bank, even if it does not quite live up to its stellar performance from barrel. Lucid purple in color, the bouquet leaps from the glass and yells "Pauillac" - thanks to its graphite seam interwoven through the black fruit. Over ten minutes, tobacco scents join the fray and it develops what you might call "mint fresh" aromatics. The palate is medium-bodied and remains understated on the entry, perhaps exaggerated by the exuberance of the nose. However, there is no question that this is a refined, pure and seamless Pontet-Canet with crème de cassis and cedar inter-layered on the sustained finish. Bon vin. Tasted February 2016. Drinking range: 2020 - 2038 Rating: 93 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Jul 2016)

Very savoury nose – very solid. Dry finish. Austere finish. But there is a glamorous polish to it. 2020-2035 Drinking range: 2020 - 2035 Rating: 16.5 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (May 2012)

Light scent – not intense but clean and fresh. Marked acidity and quite chunky tannins. Then sweet chocolate flavours. Just a bit tarty. A bit awkward. 2018-2028 Rating: 16.5 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (May 2012)

Château Pontet Canet

Pauillac Cinquième cru 1855 Such is the speed with which Pontet-Canet's star has risen of recent that it could almost feel as if it's a new estate bursting on to the scene. But it has a long history, in keeping with its noble neighbours, but a long history of under-achievement, a moniker it has only just shaken off. During the 18th Century, Jean-François de Pontet, and his descendants, built up a very healthy portfolio of vineyard in the Médoc. Those that they owned in St Julien were, eventually, disposed of but the large estate that they assembled in Pauillac was retained and has resisted the fragmentation that afflicted so many Médoc estates over the years. Consequently, at 80ha of vines in a 120ha estate, Pontet-Canet is one of the largest Cru Classé estates. By the time of the 1855 classification, despite being the neighbour of Mouton-Rothschild and Lafite, Pontet-Canet could "only" scrape 5th Growth status. Herman Cruse bought the run down estate in 1865 and, initially, put in the neccessary investment to realise the vineyard's potential. But, by the mid-20th Century, Pontet-Canet's production was mediocre at best. Salvation came when the Cruse family, beset with scandal, were forced to sell Pontet-Canet to a Cognac shipper Guy Tesseron in 1975. He, with his son Alfred, have, at last, allowed Pontet-Canet to blossom. It has taken a lot of work, a lot of investment, and a lot of time to perform the miracle but, since the mid-1990's, Pontet-Canet has produced wines of immense quality and longevity, much loved by Robert Parker and far exceeding 5th Growth status. Lying on a wide plateau of poor gravel soils, with Mouton Rothschild and d'Armailhac immediately to the north and the Carruades de Lafite vineyard to the west, Pontet-Canet is planted to 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The vineyards are farmed biodynamically, the first classed growth vineyard in the Médoc to do so. In keeping with that, they have eschewed tractors in favour of horses, who's hooves are kinder to the soil than tractor tyres. The Grand Vin spends 16 to 20 months in wood, of which 60% typically is new. There is a second wine - Les Hauts de Pontet Canet.

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